We’ve known for a while that both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will be out of the Haas F1 team after the 2020 season. Magnussen already announced that he will follow in the steps of his father, four-time Le Mans class winner Jan Magnussen, into endurance racing. Magnussen will continue racing in America in a Cadillac DPi-V.R, making his IMSA debut at the upcoming Rolex 24.
What we did not expect was that his teammate, Romain Grosjean, would end up suffering a horrific accident during the Bahrain GP in which his car tore in half and burst into fuel-fed flames. Grosjean was engulfed in the fire for 28 seconds, during which the Frenchman said that he “saw death coming” as he was trying to escape the wrecked car.
After Grosjean was airlifted to the hospital, it was clear that he would have to miss the Sakhir Grand Prix, which was also held at the Bahrain International Circuit. In his place, Haas gave young Pietro Fittipaldi an opportunity to shine. Until yesterday, there was a chance that Grosjean would return for the season finale at Abu Dhabi, but given the news that he could require a skin graft on his left hand, that just wasn’t meant to be.
Speaking in French, Grosjean said, “I didn’t expect to end my F1 career like this, but I think it’s for the best.” The question came down him being able to use all of his fingers again, and Grosjean wanted to err on the side of safety.
If you saw the Sakhir Grand Prix, you know exactly what happened. It was a thrilling race, to say the least. Young George Russell did a perfect job driving Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, only to be sabotaged by the Mercedes team twice. He was still faster than Bottas, only to end with a ninth place finish. Once again, it just wasn’t his fault.
Sergio Pérez drove back from from last place (thanks to a collision with Charles Leclerc) to win the race, which was amazing, especially given that he doesn’t have a seat for the 2021 season. His situation only shows what’s wrong with Formula 1 today.
While what Pérez did was remarkable, let’s not forget how at age 22, George Russell was as quick in Hamilton’s car as Lewis Hamilton himself would have been. Mercedes blames this weekend’s tire snafu on radio communication errors, and with that in mind, all we can do is salute Russell for being so mature and calm about the whole situation.
At this point, we look forward to a better next season, and will keep our fingers crossed for the future success of both Sergio Pérez and George Russell. They both deserve another season in cars matching their talents.
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